weivern.com Bit by Bit, Putting it Together



I’m usually a lot more prepared for these things.  Ever since I’ve begun living away from home, I would buy flight tickets well in advance for Chinese New Year so I don’t get suckered into paying three times more than I should.  But this year, it has slipped my mind completely, and by the time I planned my trip back everything was either sold out or way overpriced.
Consoling myself that I now own a hybrid car to (hypothetically) reduce carbon emissions, it made a lot of sense to decide on the next sensible thing to do: drive 348km back to Penang. READ MORE

Little Things, Big Heart

Some things don’t change.
Six years ago, yours truly, a wide-eyed fresh graduate reported for duty at a research facility in a rather secluded town, not knowing what to expect from this new journey into the rat race.  I drove a modest local-made car, the kind almost every young working person my age would – somewhat semi-hoping to blend into the mundaneness of adulthood.  My car looked tiny compared to the guardhouse that stood in front of me, a large authoritative figure with double speed bumps making sure that I was not a trespasser.  But I was then, because I had no official work ID yet.  So I parked my car at the side of the road, and meekly reported to the guardhouse. READ MORE



I start my walk from the Seaford Railway Station, and Google tells me to take what seems to be a more straightforward route than the trail that I have loaded on my watch the night before.  My feet takes me to a busy highway, and I trod along the unkempt, very much less-taken side path filled with stinging nettles that decide to make their presence felt from the beginning of my walk.  Ouch.  The drivers that pass me by are probably wondering what the heck I’m doing here, but there is no turning back until the next couple of kilometres where I converge with the original route that I have set.  To my left is an open field with roaming cattle and sheep, to my right is a green landscape that resembles a high-definition wallpaper, and ahead of me is a straight road that leads to the Seven Sisters Country Park, welcoming me in the distance. READ MORE

Live Now, Live Forever

It was one of those mornings where I woke up ‘leaping’ from bed because it was going to be an exciting day. After seven gruelling exam papers, I was ready to take on life again. I might have done really badly in one of my papers, or failed it even, but I wasn’t going to worry about it now.  The day started with a video call with my mom, then I managed to squeeze in a morning climb at the wall and made my way to the city centre for the Sundance Film Festival. We were going to catch not one, but TWO Sundance films in a day! The weather was beautiful, the sky in glorious blue, and I was in the presence of an awesome company. READ MORE


“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. READ MORE

Showing Up

“Sometimes, you want to be that friend who knows the right things to do, the right things to say. But most of the time, I find myself at a loss for words and actions – what can I possibly do to make things better, especially when things are generally beyond our control?”
You could tell that he was both helpless and frustrated at that time, his genuine concern and desire to help someone was taking a toll on his own composure. I could relate to this feeling very well – I’m no stranger to this predicament. READ MORE

The Halfway of Everything

The familiar sound of my alarm wakes me up, but unlike other mornings, I ignore the ‘Snooze’ button and turn it off. 7.00AM on a Saturday, and my room is halfway lit by the morning sun. It should be a warm day, I think.
I drag myself to the sink, and catch sight of my bedhead in the mirror. I ruffle my own hair a little bit and chuckle because I look a little funny. Then, I realise that there is a pair of eyes staring back at me, curious and familiar at the same time – like meeting an old friend I have not seen for a while. READ MORE


A friend of mine posted on social media that the notion “Things don’t always go according to plan” is one truth he finds it hard to accept.  I don’t think he’s alone in this.  As we get older, we think we should be better at planning and making things happen.  During job interviews, we are often asked where do we see ourselves in the next five to ten years.  Having a vision of the future is great – but what happens when things don’t fall into place just as we want them to?  Just as we think we are getting better at this, the matter of fact is we probably experience more “detours” than we think. READ MORE

N is for Nourishing Your Soul

As I was leaving for London last year, I received a few heartwarming farewell gifts from loved ones. One of them was a list called “The Alphabets of Living Rights” that was brilliantly concocted by a dear friend. It’s a checklist of A-Z of the things I should accomplish during my time here. So far, I have more or less completed 70% of the list, most of which are pretty straightforward, such as eating ice cream in winter (that’s I), embrace your roots in Chinatown (that’s E), sing loudly, smile widely (that’s S), and so on. READ MORE

To Something Better

What a year it has been!
This is the first time that I’m celebrating my birthday in a different timezone, without my family and without a customary bowl of ‘tang yuen’ as part of the winter solstice celebration because they both always coincide. Instead, I made my way down to Brighton with my friend Jean to join in the annual Burning of the Clocks. It is said that people do it to ward away bad stuff, and this year they also added a tribute to those who have passed on. We couldn’t think of a better way to spend the eve of my birthday. READ MORE

weivern.com Bit by Bit, Putting it Together